Tom Carroll and Tottenham: Why a transfer can benefit both parties

Tottenham's Tom Carroll looks dejected at the end of the match

The former England Under-21 international's prospects look bleak and a move away is the best solution.

Tottenham's Tom Carroll celebrates after scoring their fourth goalTottenham's Tom Carroll celebrates after scoring their fourth goal

It's always fantastic to see an academy graduate turn out for the first team, and over the last few years Tottenham have not been afraid to promote from within and give youth a chance.

The likes of Danny Rose, Ryan Mason, Andros Townsend and the most famous recent grad of all Harry Kane, have all enjoyed sustained runs in the first team at some time or another.

But whereas Kane and Rose are integral parts of Mauricio Pochettino's Tottenham side, others such as Bentaleb, Townsend and summer departures Grant Ward and Dominic Ball who completed moves to Ipswich and Rotherham respectively, are deemed surplus to requirements, not quite good enough to stay in the first team.

And unfortunately for Tom Carroll, he finds himself edging ever further towards the latter category.

The midfielder had to be very patient for his opportunity in a Spurs shirt, with a season loan spell at Swansea showing potential for what Carroll could offer Tottenham with his possession-based approach and tidy passing.

Fiorentina's Mauro Zarate in action with Tottenham's Tom CarrollFiorentina's Mauro Zarate in action with Tottenham's Tom Carroll

But in a side that's challenging for the top four and wanting to make an impression in the Champions League, Carroll sticks out like a sore thumb.

The alarm bells were there last season, when starting in a deep-midfield pivot with Eric Dier, the duo were overrun by a poor Newcastle side who sneaked all three points at White Hart Lane, with Carroll's lack of physicality being exposed.

In the Europa League, Carroll was a part of a reserve side thrown to the lions against Borussia Dortmund going down 3-0 in Germany to emphatically end Tottenham's European adventure.

When either Mason or Carroll started for Spurs last season, they only won two out of 10 games, which pretty much tells you everything you need to know.

All of Tottenham's central midfielders bring something to the table: Mousa Dembele is a remarkable box-to-box midfielder, Eric Dier a shield to the back four along with new signing Victor Wanyama, while Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen provide the creativity, directness and spark needed behind Harry Kane.

You could even argue Mason brings a certain energy and enthusiasm to move the ball quickly, but looking at Carroll, he's not strong enough defensively and he's a good passer, but not great enough to create goalscoring opportunities.

Tottenham's Tom Carroll acknowledges fans after the gameTottenham's Tom Carroll acknowledges fans after the game

And it isn't like Carroll is a prodigy that needs to be nurtured, he turned 24 at the end of last season and looking at whether there's any positive signs for growth and improvement, time is not on his side.

He's a passenger in a Tottenham team whose lack of depth killed their title dream last season, and in a season where Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United have all spent big money and changed managers, Tottenham can't afford to carry passengers anymore.

17 substitute appearances and just four Premier League starts shows Carroll is not first choice at White Hart Lane and with a year left on his contract, where does that leave him for the future?

With Premier League interest in Carroll from Sunderland, West Brom and former club Swansea, it's telling his suitors are all from the bottom half of the table, which realistically is an accurate reflection on his ability and his worth.

For Spurs, the kindest thing to do for Carroll would be to grant him a move where he will play regularly and subsequently take a decent fee for someone who was in and out of the side and has regular cup and Europa League experience.

Although it will be sad to say goodbye to another Spurs academy star, it's in the best interests for both club and player to cut ties and part ways.

Tottenham's Tom Carroll looks dejected at the end of the matchTottenham's Tom Carroll looks dejected at the end of the match

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